Doctor Who Finally Answers 60-Year-Old Question... But Raises Another

Doctor Who Finally Answers 60-Year-Old Question... But Raises Another
Image credit: BBC

Russell T. Davies sure knows how to keep Whovians intrigued.


  • The two-part finale of Doctor Who Series 14 revived two canon details.
  • While the reference to the Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman turned out to be a clever trick, it answered the question Whovians have been asking since the show's premiere.
  • The problem is that this mention now raises a new concern among fans.

The first solo season of the Fifteenth Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa, has come to a two-part finale that brought answers to many questions raised in this year's chapter, and even one that fans have been asking since the show premiered in 1963.

Clever Deception

In writing the Series 14 finale, Russell T. Davies managed to revive not one, but two canon details that linked his new era to Classic Who. Aware of Whovians' penchant for speculation and exemplary detective skills, Davies led everyone (including the Doctor) to believe that the season would end with a major revelation about the Doctor's first companion and granddaughter, Susan Foreman.

After all, the recurring appearance of Susan Twist's Susan Triad was an obvious reference to the long-forgotten family member. And while it all turned out to be a clever ruse to hide the identity of the season's Big Bad (Sutekh, the classic-era God of Death), the finale still revealed some very interesting information about the Doctor's bloodline.

Doctor Who Finally Answers 60-Year-Old Question... But Raises Another - image 1

Answering a 60-Year-Old Question

Ever since Susan and her teachers began traveling with the First Doctor, viewers have been asking questions about the girl's parents. It's clear that a granddaughter cannot exist without a daughter or a son, but the show has never gone into detail about who they were or what happened to them. The only thing we know for sure is that Susan was a Time Lord, which means her parents must have been too.

But now, more than 60 years later, Russell T. Davies has decided to break the silence. In the first part of the finale, The Legend of Ruby Sunday, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart asks the question that has puzzled fans for decades: does the existence of a granddaughter mean that the Doctor had children? And the Doctor gives a rather cryptic answer.

'I did have. I will have. Time Lords get a bit complicated.'

Although short, this line explains why we have never seen the Doctor's children on screen. Just like in River Song's story, the timeline of the Doctor's parentage has been messed up by his time travel. He became a grandfather before being a father. It's just the kind of timey-wimey stuff we've come to expect and love from the sci-fi series.

However, this explanation raises a new big question.

Inconsistency or Clue?

The Doctor's answer implies that he hasn't had children yet, but knows they will come in the future, since he has a granddaughter. However, this contradicts some things he has said in the past, even in Series 14.

Both the Tenth and the Eleventh alluded several times to having children. Even Gatwa's incarnation in Steven Moffat's Boom mentioned that he was a 'dad'. So what is it, a huge plot hole or another clever maneuver by Davies to keep the fandom guessing?

To be honest, the Fifteenth's words could have more than one meaning. For example, he didn't want to go into detail and meant that he hadn't had children by 2024, but for him personally, the future is a distant past. Or that he doesn't have Susan's mother or father yet, while his other children are still in the picture.

Nothing is clear yet, but oh, so intriguing. Russell T. Davies has done it again! We certainly hope that he has raised the subject of the Doctor's family with the intention of picking it up in the next season, which is set to hit our screens in 2025.

Would you like Doctor Who Series 15 to focus on the Doctor's children?